The corncob-shaped towers of Marina City have graced Chicago's skyline for the last five decades, and now the iconic pair are being considered for landmark status. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg, a student of Ludwig "Less is More" Mies van der Rohe, the development helped pioneer the "city within a city" style of urban planning and was groundbreaking both in design and planning philosophy at the time of its completion. However, this won't be the first time that the modernist complex has been considered for a landmark vote. Back in 2008, Alderman Brendan Reilly had asked the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to consider providing landmark status for Marina City, but the push didn't have enough momentum and never made it to a commission vote. In addition, the commission declined to provide landmark status to Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital in Streeterville, ending a long preservation battle to save the structure. Despite having a handful of star architects backing the Brutalist hospital's plight, it was demolished last year.
It's almost surprising to think that Marina City is not already a city landmark. It's one of the most prominent developments along the Chicago River, and seen by all who take an architectural boat cruise through the city. Marina City has been featured on classic airline posters during the golden age of air travel and also made a prominent appearance on the album cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Despite a failed landmarking effort in 2008 and the demolition of Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, it'd be shameful for the city to deny Marina City's place in Chicago's architectural history. Here's to Chicago's next major city landmark.
·Marina City will be considered for landmark status [Tribune]
·Marina City to come up for landmark vote [Crain's]
·Marina City again being considered for landmark status [Loop North News]
·Previous Marina City coverage [Curbed Chicago]